The High Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) today. The decision was celebrated by tweets and bloggers who are again announcing that those who support natural marriage are on the “wrong side of history.” Public opinion on the issue of gay marriage is changing, no doubt aided by the overwhelming media bias. Unless some drastic awakening occurs in our country, gay marriage will likely be the law of the land within a decade or two. So, am I on the “wrong side of history”? If the purpose of marriage is to fulfill the desire of adults, then I most assuredly am. But, if there is a purpose to marriage outside of what the individual adults want, then best not bend to the un-American identity politics of our day and stand for right, however unpopular.
Two (or three or four for that matter) individuals may share love, finances, or similar interests. Good for them. Those are private matters that impact the individuals involved, whatever gender they may be. So, what business does government have in marriage? Why do we promote and incentivize the natural marriage relationship above others?
One powerful group of citizens answered the question this way:
…at bottom, civil society has an interest in maintaining and protecting the institution of heterosexual marriage because it has a deep and abiding interest in encouraging responsible procreation and child-rearing. Simply put, government has an interest in marriage because it has an interest in children. (That powerful group was the US Congress, when DOMA was enacted in 1996.)
Legal expert Austin Nimricks puts it this way,
…marriage laws stem from the fact that children are the natural product of sexual relationships between men and women, and that both fathers and mothers are viewed to be necessary and important for children. Thus, throughout history, diverse cultures and faiths have recognized marriage between one man and one woman as the best way to promote healthy families and societies.
According to history, biology, the best social science available, and above all reason, children do not just need “role models,” or “guardians,” or even just “parents.” Every child was conceived by, desires to be known by, and has a right to their mother and father. Children are incapable of protecting their own rights. That is the purview of adults. It is one of the few things our elected officials are supposed to do. Marriage has always been the vehicle by which society recognized and protected the permanence of the parent/child relationship. Without DOMA, how do you propose that we do that?
So, what has changed in our society in the 17 years since DOMA came into existence? Here are the options:
A) Government no longer has a deep and abiding interest in encouraging responsible procreation and child-rearing.
B) Children are no longer the natural product of sexual relationships between men and women.
C) Both fathers and mothers are no longer necessary or important for children.
D) None of the above.
If the answer is D, then it is not those who support natural marriage who are wrong. Rather, what’s wrong is our new chapter of history.
For more on children’s rights and why mothers and fathers matter, see Chapter Next, You’re Only Against Gay Marriage Because Of Your Religion, and Moms and Dads Parent Differently.
96 thoughts on “Wrong Side of History? (The Death of DOMA)”
Although I think the answer is D, I think more and more people are convincing themselves that the answer is C. By the popular logic of the day, who is to say that two men can’t raise a child as well as a man and a woman? After all, there’s no real difference between men and women and they’re both perfectly capable of doing all of the exact same things equally well, right?
You have nailed it. While I believe that those who are in same-sex relationships have the ability to parent well (I have the BEST example of that in my own life), men do not mother. And a woman cannot be a father. In the same-sex marriage argument, you don’t get to have both: either mothers and fathers are interchangeable, or gay marriage is unacceptable. So gay marriage advocates are forced to say what goes against every child’s origins, seemingly for the sake of receiving the affirmation that they crave.
Why do I feel like you have taken a swipe at women for the DOMA defeat? Is the question about men and women being perfectly capable of doing the traditional roles of the other (outside of carrying a baby to term and supplying the sperm for said child) relevant to this issue?
Hi Cindy. This is not a question of capabilities in the sense of skills and abilities. This has to do with whether or not gender is a real phenomenon and the distinct and complimentary ways that men and women parent. Much more explanation on that in the posts listed above “You’re only against gay marriage because of your religion” and “Moms and dads parent differently.”
I realize looking back that I may have been accidentally implying that only men can do certain tasks involved in parenting and only women can do other tasks, but what I meant by that was that children benefit from having both a man and a woman in parenting roles in their life. It doesn’t matter whether the mom stays at home, or the dad, or neither, having both of those influences in their life is important.
Well written, and I wholeheartedly agree.
“Children are incapable of protecting their own rights. That is the purview of adults.” So, maybe the next question we need to ask is, “When did we stop acting like adults?”
We’re all so grateful for the decisions today. Not as definitive as they could have been, but we are moving in the right direction. People like to reframe things in a funny way… Those who are pro marriage equality are not against “traditional” marriage at all… The just want equality. Stop making it sound like people are attacking “natural” marriage. You guys are the one with the issues and problems. It’s ok though, you’ll get there. Just keep working at it, and God will help even you.
Sorry Sarah!! No I am not, this whole issue has nothing to do with equality. This whole thing has to do with the degradation of the family as we know it. We cannot move forward in the progressive sphere if we continue to have traditional values. The left has ruined this country, and they will not stop till we are no longer recognizable. Gays as parents do not, and cannot provide for children the way a Mother and a Father can, Gays cannot procreate. I am disgusted that a group that makes up less than 10% of the population creates this much discord in this country.
I respectfully completely disagree. Might doesn’t make right, but people are starting to wake up and realize doom and gloom and folks like yourself aren’t correct on this one. No need to fully debate… I’ll respect your viewpoint, but please don’t infringe yours upon me.
I wrote a short response but I don’t think it went through. So I’ll just say that I respectfully and completely disagree with you. God bless you.
Tim, I agree with you.
This country hates the good and pure things of God because it shows how evil we have become. I believe it is up to the real Christ following men and women to stand up and say, No more!
Marriage is an institution designed by God, not America. Four years ago when we were married we passed on the state license and took the covenant marriage route simply because our country has changed the rules and does not hold anything sacred.
Brothers and sisters, we who love Jesus must stand and value our marriages and families like never before. Our children and the future depend on it .
This country is morally bankrupt and will fall on it’s knees before a very Righteous Judge one day soon. It doesn’t matter how many laws pass, how many people are on your side or how modern day we have become.
He created heaven and earth. He is the Alpha and Omega.
Well said, Yolanda.
I don’t have any problem at all because “people” ARE attacking natural marriage between one man, one woman, as was intended by God. I am a 57-year-old adult that was adopted as a baby at THREE HOURS OLD by a loving, committed married heterosexual couple and I thank Him every day and every time this subject comes up. I cannot even FATHOM how confused and misguided I may have been had I ever had to say, “I have two mommies and don’t know who my “daddy” is,” or “I don’t have a mommy, but I do have two daddies.” Poor little things today – my prayers go out to them if they’re being raised in a same-sex “married” household. SMH.
@Sarah- Did you get all giddy when you rounded out your ever so erudite post with your bitchy kitty comment? Just wondering.
It was a little snarky… I was fired up. 😄 But I didn’t really get giddy.
Hi Sarah. Thanks for your comments here. I understand your sentiments as I have many dear friends who agree with you (indeed, I was on that side of the fence in the early years of my life). And you can use whatever term you like- traditional marriage, man/woman marriage, etc. I’ve used them all on the blog. The larger question that I would pose to you is, do children have a natural right/desire to be known and loved by their father and mother?
Hello! I appreciate you welcoming my dissenting comments. I have added you to my blog roll so I can see what’s going on on this “side of the fence.” So you can expect more annoying yet always respectful comments to come. I think your question is a bit leading from the words you use. I actually truly don’t believe same sex couples are worse than traditional couples when it comes to parenting. I believe they are just different. And there is research to back up both sides. But I find the research that affirms that same-sex couples can provide a loving caring home and are not inferior to straight couples to be sound and valid. I think it’s much worse to be the product of divorce and being a single parent presents many challenges that the child pays for. Are you close with any other kids who were raised by same sex parents or any same sex couples who are parenting? I understand you had a negative experience, and I don’t know your whole story, but it really sounded like the divorce confounded your perspective. And your experience is only yours… It is not generalizable to everyone. I know many same sex couples and children raised by same sex couples, and they are having a very positive experience. So I think like everything in life, it depends, and same sex couples are not inherently inferior in the parenting and roles department. On a personal note, how does your mother and and her partner feel about your views, especially since you are so close? Did they not provide a loving enough environment to want them to have a marriage like you can have? Also, do you think not being a product of divorce would make a difference? I think children who are born to committed, now married, same sex couples are better off than those who went through a divorce.
Hi Sarah, I’ll do my best to piece together a response:
“So you can expect more annoying yet always respectful comments to come.”
You will be in good company. There are plenty of welcome dissenters here.
“I actually truly don’t believe same sex couples are worse than traditional couples when it comes to parenting.”
I don’t necessarily disagree with you on this one. I am not disputing the aptitude for parenting but rather stating that parent gender matters. Here’s my standard response to question on the parenting abilities of gays and lesbians:
There are selfish, negligent parents who are heterosexual, homosexual, and single parents. There are also loving, involved, selfless, responsible heterosexual, homosexual, and single parents. So, assuming that everyone is parenting well, gender still adds a significant and valuable aspect to child development. Both in how the child understands her world:
and in how she sees herself:
Statistically, biology also plays a role in the life of the child:
I have the best example of a woman in a same-sex relationship who was a great parent! As a matter of fact, many of the things that I do well as a parent are because I am reproducing what my mother did for me. But fathers cannot mother. And kids need dads, not just “parents.”
“But I find the research that affirms that same-sex couples can provide a loving caring home and are not inferior to straight couples to be sound and valid.”
I challenge you to find even one study that unitizes large, random samples and employs adequate controls that says that children in gay households fare as well those in in-tact heterosexual households.
“Are you close with any other kids who were raised by same sex parents or any same sex couples who are parenting?”
Three other adult women with a gay parent. Several gay couples (acquaintances) who are parenting children, and one lesbian couple parenting children with whom I am close. As well as a childhood of observation and many beloved gay friends.
“I understand you had a negative experience…”
Well, I don’t know how to quantify that. I love my mom, her partner, my dad and his wife. They all loved me and my sister. I am grateful that despite landing in different places regarding worldview, we are still close. And in the interest of honoring them, that’s about all I’ll say on the subject. 🙂
“On a personal note, how does your mother and her partner feel about your views, especially since you are so close?”
While I don’t know if we agree on gay marriage as policy, they believe that a child being raised by a mother and a father is ideal. But they also have friends who are parenting children who they feel are doing well.
“Did they not provide a loving enough environment to want them to have a marriage like you can have?”
They were/are loving and committed (commitment that puts some heterosexual marriages to shame). But I can honestly say that there is a piece of me that would not exist/not be as strong, confident, and adept without an involved *father* in my life.
“Also, do you think not being a product of divorce would make a difference? I think children who are born to committed, now married, same sex couples are better off than those who went through a divorce.”
We are now wading in exceptionally subjective waters. Are kids better off with only one transition (away from bio parent(s) at birth and never knowing a father or mother) than two (loss of nuclear family and recoupled parent(s))? Social science cannot yet tell us. But the reality is that when it comes to children, there is no such thing as a truly in-tact gay household. The kid has to lose something valuable no matter how the parents chose to expand their family. If you are looking at the most “pure” model of gay household, you would be talking about some kind of artificial insemination, where one gay parent is the biological parent and the child is with the couple from birth. In that case, this broad study called “My Daddy’s Name is Donor” would be an informative one to examine. http://www.familyscholars.org/assets/Donor_summ_findings.pdf
Thanks again for your questions. Let me know if I have missed something important. PS- While we do like dogs, we are a cat family. I hope that doesn’t exacerbate the discussion…
Ok, here are some questions that come up for me based on your answers. I couldn’t respond there so I did here. And this is just from memory. So are you not against gay marriage and/or unions then if they don’t have children? It sounds like really you are against anyone who is not a hetero couple having children. What if a gay couple was going to adopt a child or foster a child from an underprivileged household with one or no biological parents or from a poverty-stricken country? What about traditional couples who do not plan to marry and have kids? Can they still marry in your worldview? You say this isn’t just about religion, but you have dedicated a whole blog to this issue when it seems there would be as many equally disturbing issues like single mothers, adopted children, sperm donors, surrogacy, etc., which you mention, but only in attempt to show that gay marriage is wrong.
Additionally, with your education, I know you know it would be impossible to find the random sample you want to see in gay family research, because just by that fact it cannot be random assignment. There will likely always be factors that will be hard to control for, and a large scale study that meet your specific criteria would be hard. But I’ll try to find the ones that I thought looked good when I reviewed them. And, I think you being a cat family is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Other things we can get past… Choosing cats over dogs is not one of them. 🙂
Hi Sarah. I’m going the lazy blogger route and pasting in some answers from another part of this thread:
If, as Congress stated when they enacted DOMA, that government’s only interest in marriage is a child-centric one, then promoting heterosexual marriage is well founded. Throughout my blog, I state that the US rightly PERMITS all manner of consensual relationships. But enshrining gay marriage into law goes beyond “permitting” into “promoting.” In that case, there is no hope that the child will have the wholeness that they crave and deserve.
“…children born out of wedlock, women pursuing artificial insemination as single parents, divorce, and all other circumstances that are outside of a “traditional male-female marriage w/ children” scenario.” No one (at least on this blog) is advocating in any way that government should be prohibiting or outlawing any of those choices. Neither do I recommend that we incentivize them. (Though I think we would be wise to scrutinize the ethics behind any artificial means of conception and would be delighted if no-fault divorce laws were revisited.) If government is to be involved at all then it should be to promote the family structure that proves to statistically be the best for children. Not every man and woman have children. But every child has a father and mother. Public policy and our national narrative does well when that reality is reflected.
Throughout my blog, I state that if you are a Christian, you have an obligation to help and sacrifice for anyone who is facing relational brokennes, whether or not you agree with their decisions. From my post: “Why do you hate gays?” “Years ago, two women asked me to travel with them while they adopted their second child. Like today, I held the view that a home headed by a married man and woman is the best place within which to raise children. I did wrestle through whether or not my going with them would amount to tacit approval of same-sex relationships. But I loved them. And they needed me. And I thought that maybe I could offer support and empathy to their girls if they were harassed for having two moms (cause I was). And did I believe that these two dear women would offer a better life to their daughters than an orphanage? Without. A. Doubt. So I went. Have others questioned my decision? Yes. But I erred on the side of sacrifice.”
Every family situation that deviates from the “nuclear” family will involve loss for a child. Once you leave the married-mother-father-children equation, it is not a question of whether or not there is brokenness. It’s now a question of “how broken is it?” And while I will continue to love those who are gay, and condemn those who would say gay people are anything other than precious souls worthy of God’s and my love, I will not pander to the popular cultural narrative that children’s rights are secondary to adult proclivities.
I don’t think that raising child outside of a married mother/father household is ideal. Neither do I keep those with whom I disagree at arm’s length. You don’t have to compromise to be compassionate.
I don’t necessarily agree with this, yet I don’t disagree with this.
To be honest I find that Government has no business in the bedroom unless it truly harms a citizen, and there’s really no tangible evidence that this will harm anyone. By that logic, I don’t think the Government really belongs in marriage at all since all the legal benefits can be secured without an official title. But Government’s already got it’s paws in the institution of marriage wrists deep, so might as well work with what we have
My biggest fear will be liberals going after the Church and other religious institutions who can give marriage licenses, forcing them to give marriages and ceremonies to those they feel go against their beliefs. You KNOW it’s going to happen, especially with all the homosexual defiance against the Church at the moment. Hell, one of my local schools lost a lawsuit in which the plaintiff was fired for being in an active gay relationship (which went against the morality clause of her contract). What should have been a clear cut case of contract violation was twisted horribly to be PC… The Church is taking this thing to appeals as we speak.
Just… I don’t mind DOMA being over turned, I just don’t like the looks of the coming storm. >_<
I completely agree with you. Its only a mater of time before they go after the church and other religious institutions. Only a matter of time…
No way for co-existence between these two ideals. The Bible with all it’s truth and evidence of changed lives, miracles, answered prayer, will simply be deemed non pc.
Thanks for taking the time to comment here, Gear. I completely agree with you about the looming (and in some cases already realized) clash between leftism and religious liberty.
A question for you about your first point is, does the epidemic of fatherlessness within this country have anything to do with rising out-of-marriage births? That is bringing great harm to many individual citizens and society as a whole.
“We know the statistics—that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and twenty times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.” – President Obama
Our President’s assessment of the impact of fatherlessness is accurate. So, does that make marriage the government’s business?
I think perhaps the problem lies more with our mentality of a greedy and flight-of-fancy culture. If Stubenville is to be an example, rape-culture has become all the more prevalent and protected by the masses for quite some time. It was only thanks to the vigilante justice of Anonymous that the case even saw daylight instead of remaining buried beneath hero worship.
What our problem is that we demean the necessity of responsibility in our society. Waste all your money? Don’t worry, the government’s got you covered. Raped a girl/guy? She wanted it/Girls don’t rape people. Got pregnant by having unprotected sex? Murder that little ‘thing’ to dodge the weight of responsibility. So why is it so hard to believe that guys who knock girls up don’t have the same type of feeling? They just leave her behind with the ‘brat’ and don’t look back, seeing little to no consequences, even with the deadbeat dad protocols in place to make sure they get their just deserts.
What I say is take government’s control away from people’s personal lives and instead teach them how to live responsibly. Normally I would say that parents should fill that role, but it’s already evident that the majority of our adult population have troubles doing that. So I must ruefully say it’s up to education, both public and parochial, to instill in the youth and our future a sense of responsibility to each other and their country (note: COUNTRY, not GOVERNMENT).
Once we find a way to reintroduce that virtue into the vast majority of our society, I don’t think it will matter who the parents of a child are. There’ll be some great gay parents out there that raise people I’d probably give my life for some day and there will be hetero parents who raise the people I’d vehemently oppose. Gay or straight, with equal rights they’re just two sides of the same coin, equally strong and flawed.
So I say, let the gays marry and have kids. We have bigger fish to fry in the goal of raising a responsible future of adults.
I think your diagnosis of the problem is accurate, Gear. Living for immediate gratification and lack of personal responsibility is the plague of this great country. And I won’t deny that a gay parent can crank out an amazing kid. 🙂 But “education” hasn’t, and will never be able to, fix this problem. The reality is that moms and dads parenting together turn out the best citizens who are the most physically, emotionally, mentally healthy, and who have the highest levels of academic achievement, lowest propensity for criminal activity and poverty, (etc, etc, etc…) kids anywhere. The intact traditional family is the single greatest factor in reducing all those other social issues by 5x, 10x, even 20x. Real marriage = the one-step solution to smaller government. And it happens to be the cheapest solution around. Now, how to encourage people to get married first and have children after marriage… that’s the kicker. Again, the solution will likely not come from government.
You don’t just support “natural marriage”- you are against marriage equality. Call it what it is. We support “traditional marriage” as well, we just also support gay marriage. We aren’t as omnipotent as you are to think we can infringe on the rights of others based on our sad beliefs. God-willing, this will continue and eventually you will see the light and realize your marriage will be ok even if the rights of others aren’t denied. Praying for people like you.
Ok. I’m against marriage “equality”. And the reason is that wherever “marriage equality” is granted, it is as if the government is encouraging and incentivising loss for children within those relationships. For the gay parents to get what they want, the child MUST lose a full relationship with one or both biological parents. And there is real, long-term brokenness anytime a child grows up without one or both of their parents.
Thanks for your prayers. I don’t turn those down. 🙂
if anybody wants more info on the subject…i recommend reading james dobson’s book Marriage under fire. and his book bringing up boys also has a great chapter on the origins of homosexuality …..when you use the words ‘marriage equality’ is misguided…alot of people who supports this happy go lucky marriage equality are naive and dont know the hidden agenda of the larger gay and lesbian organizations, if u do the research on what they are doing in other country’s its quite evident, they have and are continuing to try to lower the legal age that they can have sex with a young person its 18 in the us, but in other countries they pushed to lower it to even 12 and 14 they like to push the boy, man sex and its quite disgusting if you actually research it, there was even one group that said sex before 8 or its to late. so all they people who think they are supporting a good cause are really just supporting the hidden agenda of the larger gay and lesbian organizations…dont even get me started on the childs right to have a mother and father…..
Honey- where are you getting your information? It simply isn’t true. It’s probably easier for you to hold on to this, but it just isn’t the case. You’ll see that everything will be ok even when same sex couples are given equal rights. Nobody wants to marry young boys except pedophiles and the oldest in accuracy in the book (which most people know by now), is that gays are not pedophiles at all. It’s completely different. Look at some legitimate research done by people with less of an agenda so you can at least bring something accurate to the debate that has some merit.
Reading James Dobson will not solve the problem (if one exists) nor will it bring enlightenment relative to this issue in the venue of the United States government. Dr. Dobson approaches the subject from a Christian perspective. .The United States government should not. The previous discussion has a place – church, blogs, bible studies, and prayer – for discussion, but it is not the Supreme Court.
I urge everyone to think of something that is practiced or endorsed by another religion or non religion (please, are you thinking of something) that, if adopted by the United States government (law), would disallow you,as a Christian, a woman, a man, a white person, a black person, whatever, from exercising a freedom that every other person in the United States has and which you believe to be a right endowed to you by being born human and certainly by being an American.
There are people out there that would love to make it illegal for parents to take their kids to church or teach them about God because they don’t believe in God and think the idea of God is destructive. There are people who would like to force parents to educate their children in public schools so that they can be indoctrinated with the social agendas of the day. There are some people who believe that being white makes you superior and that society structure should reflect that superiority. There are some people out there that think that women’s rights are unnatural and are harmful to society – especially a man’s place in it – and they are forming groups to turn the public consciousness toward their misogynistic agenda. All of these things are extremes, but if allowed to govern politics, could infringe on your personal rights, in contrast to just offending your personal morals or beliefs. The same government that would allow men to marry men and women to marry women is the government who would keep these other groups from taking away actual rights you have today. That is a good system. When the system does not work toward equality under the law, then we are all in danger of being subject to the whims of a majority group (or a minority group with a lot of power) that holds a different point of view than we do.
Government has NO BUSINESS having ANYTHING to do with Marriage.. PERIOD!
Homosexual or Heterosexual… Makes NO difference! There should be NO advantage or disadvantage in any sense of the word with regard to government and marriage…
“Marriage” is an institution established by the church and should be vested in the church alone… There should be no mechanism for “recognition” by a government entity… It is religious at its core and needs to stay there!
Government used the marriage license initially to regulate interracial marriages… It is simply a means of control that the government should not be permitted to have!
I do not condone the lifestyle, but I deplore government intervention even more!
• Get OUT Government!!!
Hi Michael. Thanks for adding your thoughts here. I understand the frustration that those on both sides of this issue have with government involvement. On the issue of interracial marriages, I would recommend this post: https://askthebigot.com/2012/10/26/discrimination/. Regarding “the government having no business in marriage” I would be interested in your thoughts to my response to Gear above, whose comments have some overlap with yours above.
Reblogged this on Mustard Seed Budget and commented:
She was raised by two mothers, so what she speaks carries incredible credibility. We love homosexuals, but they are sinners just like the rest of us.
Thank you for addressing, always with compassion, this current and fiercely debated issue!
You nailed it! Do you mind if I re-post this tomorrow on my blog???
Thanks, friend. I’d be honored.
While I support the decision of the court today, I feel for you as I know it is very important to you personally.
We talk a lot about how marriage is a union sanctioned by God, and this comes from the bible. In the Old Testament, the only ones who would have been subject to the laws of the bible (enforced by the culture) would have been the Jews. After Jesus, the bible is the book for believers. Why do we keep trying to force our religious requirements on a secular society. It just does not make sense to me.
Under that logic, we should be working to try and keep men and women who are not Christians from marrying as their unions would not be sanctioned by God as they are not believers (if strict adherence to the bible is the objective). I think it is a time to step back and take a deep breath.
The best thing to come out of this, aside for that 10% (as quoted by someone here) being treated like the rest of Americans, is that we have one less thing to distract our government officials from actually leading us and working together to get our economy back on track and thus making us less vulnerable in this global economy. We need some unity.
Succinct and well put. I agree!
Hi Cindy. Always love to see you on here. I know that there are some supporters of natural marriage who “talk a lot about how marriage is a union sanctioned by God, and this comes from the bible” but I don’t. I actually think that it is neither appropriate nor necessary to use the Bible to advocate for public policy. You would be hard-pressed to find a post on civil marriage that includes that rational on this blog. https://askthebigot.com/2013/03/27/engaging-the-world/
My rational for advocating for natural marriage is because in my own life, in ministry, and in the lives of others I see the long-term pain that results when one loses a parent for any reason. And I don’t believe that government should encourage or incentivise a family structure that necessitates loss for a child.
I didn’t mean to imply that you held that belief. But you are unique in your position. Most people who are against gay marriage are brought to that position either because they think it is wrong from a biblical perspective or it just downright makes them uncomfortable. They don’t even go beyond those feelings to think about any potential effect on children that may be introduced into the situation.
While I believe society has a role in protecting children from the worst elements among us, I believe that there is the risk of taking it too far. Plus, there is just no way to make it perfect. I think that we realize that some children are going to have an easier life than others regardless of what rules and laws we pass.
Bad marriages produce bad outcomes for kids, too. I know. But every experience, good or bad, has the ability to teach us something that can help us to be a better person. I think it is more important to show children that good families exists, good people exist, even “normal” people exist (I say that because my family was not “normal” and it had nothing to do with being gay) than it is to try and micro-manage families through laws. What children really need to know, especially those in less than ideal circumstances, is that a different way of life exists and they can strive for that in the future. So, we need to be a light to those people. We need to embody hope. Hope that our future can look different than what we were born into. That is what the church used to do before it entered the political arena. How can we focus our precious resources on people when we are using so much of it to schmooze politicians? Sorry, I’ll come down from the mountain now.
Marriage is designed by God for Man and Woman only. Genesis 2:20-25 KJV. A man cannot be woman because he has no womb. A woman called woman because she WOMB. Romans 2:24 “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:” Romans 2:26-27 “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” (Don’t hate me. It is WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS and what the WORD of GOD says.)
Whatbiblesays… Do you feel it’s your job to make sure everyone is following the Bible? Do you enforce every sin equally? Why has this “sin” in your eyes, become so much more important? There ad many things in the Bible that you are likely not worried about, yet you dwell on this. Why? Some people are not Christian, and this country has religious freedom. Can’t you respect different viewpoints enough to not make them follow YOUR beliefs? Would you want me to tell you what you can and can’t do based on my beliefs? Only God knows the answers and you are not him. You can personally feel a certain way and not go around trying to make others do as you wish. Live the life you feel good about and stop making others go along with your views. I don’t understand why that is so tough. This country is based in the constitution, not the Bible.
I am not telling my “OWN” opinion the subject sarah. 🙂 I’m just qouting “WHAT THE BIBLE” says on the matter. For me what objects to the WORD of GOD is wrong. If you don’t believe in what the word of God tells or the Bible tells then there is nothing I can do with that. If not all people are Christian then there is nothing I can do with that too. I am just merely telling the Truth. The Truth may hurt you and us and me. But it is the truth and we cannot bend it no matter how we try to bend it. The truth will always prevail and the only thing that will set us free. Thank you. 🙂 May God give you the Wisdom and Understanding to understand what you need to see and understand. God Bless. I’m repeating. I am NOT IMPOSING my own opinion here I am basing what I said on the BIBLE Itself.
and If you don’t believe on the Bible then there is nothing I can do with that. I can’t force you or anyone else that doesn’t believe. I am only just telling so that you may know and if you don’t like. It’s fine with me Sarah. 🙂 If your country doesn’t base Marriage in the bible then that doesn’t mean that your country is right and the Bible is wrong. If someone doesn’t believe on God that doesn’t mean He doesn’t exist. If Somebody doesn’t believe that you exist that doesn’t mean you don’t exist. Right Sarah? Just because something doesn’t fit in our personal wants and desires it is already wrong. God is standards is always right and anything that doesn’t fit God standards is always wrong!.
Thanks for your comments, Whatbiblesays. I love God’s Word and the life, direction, peace and comfort that it brings. It is THE resource for interacting with others who acknowledge Christ as their Lord.
The population of the US, however, largely does not. Therefore, I don’t believe that it is to what we should refer when arguing public policy.
Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts with us, friend.
You are very much welcome, I am so glad to know there are still people standing for the Lord Jesus Christ in midst of perverse and crooked generation we are in. Let’s us just continue to pray that God will give wisdom and open the eyes of the most of them that doesn’t believe.
You are very much welcome, I am so glad to know there are still people standing for the Lord Jesus Christ in midst of perverse and crooked generation we are in. Let’s us just continue to pray that God will give wisdom and open the eyes of the most of them that doesn’t believe.
The truth is that marriage in general — for heterosexuals — has become obsolete as many women, even middle class and professional, are having children out of wedlock.
Indeed. Increasingly children are being raised without a mother and a father for many reasons to the great harm of the individual and the nation. My thoughts on that here:
I may have a strange view on this but I am so offended that our government, which claims we are free, issues marriage licenses in the first place that the rest becomes cloudy. A licenses implies that it is a privilege, much like driving, and not a right. Therefore this is not an equal rights issue at all. It is an issue of privilege. Until they issue certificates only to recognize the marriage we are not free, regardless of who receives the privilege.
Biblically speaking, homosexuality is without a doubt a sin. It is also a sin to lust, which is defined as impure thoughts about others to whom we are not married. It is also sinful for devorsies to remarry in almost all instances besides a select few. Thus if sin eliminates the privilege to legally marry, no one can be married. None of us are without sin.
I completely agree any child would be best off in a home with a loving father and mother. Sadly very few receive that, I am among the very blessed who have. That said we can not live in a nation where only people who are deemed potentially good parents can be married.
Living in Amish country I honestly say that if one desires a community based on faith, laws based on God’s, then build one. It works and the Amish I know are extremely close to God.
I love you and sorry if this comes across wrong, it’s just all how I see it.
Thanks for your comments, Brook’s Sister. Sorry it took me a while to get back to you. If being sin-free was a requirement to be married by the government or the church, I would not have been issued a licence, that’s for sure. And I think that your prescription for moving forward is right: for the church to build a community based on God’s ordinances and empowered by His Spirit. May we do just that. And may we not grow inward, but stretch outward.
Thank you and I want you to know, I am young and love what you wrote about family structure. It’s sad that most people don’t think of the children first how you have.
Plus, I live in a very sheltered environment of love. What I mean is I have little right to none at all to speak out about how anyone should feel or live.
Bless you and I am grateful for the perspective I have gained through your words.
Thanks friend. Took a peek at your blog. What a beautiful writer you are and unique inspiration for writing. Thanks for sharing your comments here.
Wow, thank you looking and the uplifting compliment.
Glad I found your blog.
Thank you again.
I have read your posts, and I must say, you all make me sick. You may get gay marriage legalized, but its not going to change a thing. You will never be accepted as normal. Common, perhaps, but never normal. You’re all a bunch of drama queens craving attention, and everyone knows it. And quite frankly, “the gay community” is really very boring. It always has been. Why dont you freaks advocate for something everyone actually gives a shit about? The only people you are arguing with now are a few stiff-neck politicians. You feel empowered now simply because we have a queer for a president. REAL empowerment is if you all could win the favor of a heterosexual president. obama is doing what he does best, which is controlling you to get your vote. And it worked. You’ve been played big time.
Hello Normal Redneck. I have approved your comment for the purpose of illustrating the kind of response that will not be permitted on asktheBigot. You have inspired a new post in which I explain guidelines for comments on this blog: https://askthebigot.com/2013/06/29/rules-of-engagement/
If you are able to conform your language to the standards as outlined in the above post, I welcome your thoughts. Otherwise, all the best to you friend.
Redneck sounds right. Wow. I don’t think this person can be helped, and this comment doesn’t merit a serious response. Even though we disagree on this page, nobody is disrespectful to one another or comes off as such a hateful loner. It’s pretty normal and accepted in many areas… I’m guessing you live in a special place. We will all hope things get better for you so you can enjoy your life a little more and not be so angry.
In my opinion we are experimenting with a very important sphere of life; children that will grow to become our future. If the courts had said people have a right to give/withhold benefits to whomever they want i would be dancing in the streets too, but to call gay unuion a marriage is a sham, marriage at its core is for procreation, child rearing and sharing all resources as both parents raise their children. i am for equal rights but this was WRONG and a complete disregard for a majority of the American peoples wdesires.
I wholeheartedly agree, Fortified. No other variation of the family (divorce, cohabitation, etc.) has gone well for children. While no child is “doomed”, the further away you step from the intact family the more you statistically stack the deck against them. Social science has been unable to give us information about how children of gay couples fare as a population, and yet we rush legislation through anyway. We will only know the true impact of this layer of familial brokenness after a generation when many random, longitudinal studies are done with adult children from same sex homes. Social experiment indeed.
This is an insane argument. Based on your argument, then you would also advocate the government taking measures to prevent children born out of wedlock, women pursuing artificial insemination as single parents, divorce, and all other circumstances that are outside of a “traditional male-female marriage w/ children” scenario. I am in no way saying that I actually condone any of these scenarios, however, if you are bringing this as your argument, then every contradictory circumstance must be addressed. For decades and decades, if not centuries, people have gotten divorced, had children out of wedlock, etc. What if you or your sibling or your parent or your friend was in a horrifically unhappy marriage? One where abuse was involved? Would you want the government to prevent you from being divorced because your children would now not be raised in a traditional marriage household? Do you want to arrest people who have sex out of wedlock? Or should all citizens to be put on birth control until they are married to prevent the birth of children outside marriage? Do you want all insemination clinics run by the government so the government can evaluate every person that wants to be impregnated and ensure they are married to someone of the opposite sex?
The point here is that you cannot selectively choose when and where you want the government to interfere and regulate people’s lives. At some point, the government must step out. The government is instituted to provide structure, laws, civility. Not to impose one person’s beliefs on another. Where does the line get drawn? You should seriously consider these points before condemning others’ choices.
I consider myself a republican, however, I disagree with the group on many social issues, including this one. Conservatives cannot cry “smaller government!” in some areas, yet consistently allow the government to come into our houses and our bedrooms to regulate how we choose to personally live our lives in our own families. What do you think hurts children more? Being raised by two women who are married and love each other? Or being raised by a man and a woman who were unhappy and have been divorced, being shuffled between homes, splitting holidays, and adapting to potential “step” families? (This is not to say that gay couples may never divorce and is not to say that hetero couples always will – just a potential scenario.)
I think divorce will have a more negative effect on a child every single time. Yet the government does not interfere there. Because it is a personal decision. If you are advocating that the government should stop two people of the same sex from being married, then I assume you also advocate divorce and pre- or extra- marital sex being illegal. (Perhaps you do advocate this – this is my first time at your blog, so I can only assume you would.)
If not, then your argument is unfounded, irrational, and completely close-minded.
I agree, mostly because this article is completely irrelevant at the point that it is illogical. Personal opinions aside, if you actually read the article, it makes no sense. The author’s argument essentially states that putting an end to DOMA is detrimental to society because of its effect on children. The reason being that two opposite gendered households are “scientifically proven” to be better for children. First, music lessons are “scientifically proven” to be better for children too, but we don’t mandate those do we? Secondly, the argument made is a logical fallacy at the point that this “harm” to children would occur regardless. Gay couples would still be able to adopt, and they would still be able to chemically reproduce as DOMA has no say in these matters. So, basically, since this harm would occur in a world with DOMA, and a world without, this article is inconclusive at best.
I wouldn’t use some of the stronger adjectives you did to characterize this post, but your argument is completely logical and otherwise spot on.
Askme, if your argument is really that marriage must be exclusively of the “traditional” variety for the sake of the children, then it follows that you’d also support all sorts of other draconian policies. (Eg. Banning divorce, denying marriage to infertile couples and other examples that Christin mentioned).
The problem, as one commenter here noted, is that the government started giving out marriage licenses in the first place. It then attached all sorts of benefits to the institution that have nothing to do with kids — healthcare benefits, immigration benefits, tax benefits, legal protections and so on.
Askme, you write that two people may “share love, finances, or similar interests. Good for them.” But that’s the whole point. Two people of the same gender DON’T have the same right to share love and finances within the current system. Indeed, the supreme court’s DOMA case came up in the first place after a woman was hit with a $360k tax because her deceased partner who left her an inheritance was a woman. Had her partner been a man she wouldn’t have had to pay that huge bill. How on earth does such a blatantly unfair policy help children?
Personally, I’d like to see government out of marriage entirely and leave the institution exclusively to religious organizations. But as long as government is in the marriage game everyone should have an equal right to play.
Christin, 14Sam, and Keefe, thanks for your comments.
If, as Congress stated when they enacted DOMA, that government’s only interest in marriage is a child-centric one, then promoting heterosexual marriage is well founded. Throughout my blog, I state that the US rightly PERMITS all manner of consensual relationships. But enshrining gay marriage into law goes beyond “permitting” into “promoting.” In that case, there is no hope that the child within that family structure will have the wholeness that they crave and deserve.
“…children born out of wedlock, women pursuing artificial insemination as single parents, divorce, and all other circumstances that are outside of a “traditional male-female marriage w/ children” scenario.” No one (at least on this blog) is advocating in any way that government should be prohibiting or outlawing any of those choices. Neither do I recommend that we incentivize them. (Though I think we would be wise to scrutinize the ethics behind any artificial means of conception and would be delighted if no-fault divorce laws were revisited.) If government is to be involved at all (which I understand the arguments for government to exit the equation but not sure if I fully agree) then it should be to promote the family structure that proves to statistically be the best for children. Not every man and woman have children. But every child has a father and mother. Public policy and our national narrative does only good to reflect that reality.
But the government’s interest in marriage is clearly NOT only a child-centric one. The fact is that the majority of the benefits and obligations the government bestows on married people that have absolutely nothing to do with children.
So the question remains: How can you justify a system that, for example, allows a childless hetrosexual couple to pass on an estate tax free to their spouse but denies a childless homosexual couple the same benefit? That protects a childless hetrosexual couple from testifying against each other in court but not a homosexual couple? Etc.
As for policy reflecting reality, I agree. Part of that reality is that 300,000 children in the United States are currently being raised by gay parents. (And, by the way, another 2 million being raised by single parents). Getting rid of DOMA helps those children, no?
You have contradicted yourself. You say “But enshrining gay marriage into law goes beyond ‘permitting’ into ‘promoting.'” Then you go on to say “No one (at least on this blog) is advocating in any way that government should be prohibiting or outlawing any of those choices.” (re: divorce, et al)
Therefore, you are saying that, by not outlawing it, the government is PROMOTING divorce. Promoting a scenario in which a child is not reared in a traditional, 2-heterosexual-parent household. You cannot have it both ways. Either the government regulates marriage for child rearing or it does not. My point was that if you agree with the outlawing of gay marriage for the sake of the children, then, naturally, you would also have to advocate outlawing divorce. Otherwise, you are a walking contradiction.
Moving on to another one of your arguments.
Ok, so you recognize that the government PERMITS relationships among gay and lesbian couples, but only prevents marriage. Consider this. Under current law, any woman can be inseminated with the sperm of someone she knows or does not know. Or she could have unmarried sex with a male and get pregnant. She can have that child and raise it in a house with another woman, her lesbian partner, unmarried. If the natural birth mother’s partner dies, and she was the primary financial provider, the family would receive no payouts from her life insurance, savings, estate, benefits, etc. So, even though she provided for them in life, she would not be able to provide for them in death, leaving them in a financially precarious situation. Of course, if the natural birth mother dies, the children would be displaced, potentially put into the foster system. But this is all “okay” with the government and with you. How can you possibly argue that marriage in this scenario would not be beneficial to all?
Thanks for the opportunity to clarify. Government permits divorce. Government permits cohabitation. Government permits nearly every consensual adult decision around sex and relationship. That aligns with a nation of liberty. However, I don’t follow your argument about how allowing divorce “promotes” divorce. Is the government giving institutional status, affirmation, and financial benefit to those who seek divorce? Not that I am aware of. IF government is going to be involved at all, as was argued by Congress when DOMA was enacted, it should be to encourage optimal conditions for procreation and childrearing. Holding to an ideal does not mean that I advocate for “punishing” or “outlawing” situations that don’t meet the ideal. It IS saying that there is a family structure that is proven to be best for childrearing and IF government is to be involved, then it should be to promote/encourage that family structure.
“Of course, if the natural birth mother dies, the children would be displaced, potentially put into the foster system.” Your scenario is possible and that would be awful. But there are two sides to that coin. Here is an actual scenario where the birth mother was unable to care for the child (she was in jail). As a result, the child was separated from a willing biological parent (and was put into foster care) because the state recognized the woman married to the mother (but who was only in the child’s life for 3-4 weeks) as the “parent” because the two women were briefly married:
It seems that your premise is that we should institutionalize gay marriage for the sake of the kids living within same-sex headed households. Does that mean that we should likewise institutionalize any arrangement of adults who are raising children together?
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Whatthebiblesays: It’s YOUR truth, not THE truth. I know that’s hard to hear, but open your eyes! Not all people are Christians. The Bible is your book, and maybe mine too, but not everyone’s. There are millions of people on this earth who feel just as strongly as you do, with every fiber of their being, that their book and their belief system is the truth. Just like you do. Just as convinced as you are. If everyone lacks respect for other viewpoints just like you, we would be in an even worse spot with the different religions of the world. Just trying to help you gain some perspective. (For some reason with the authoritarian way you wrote, I was sure you were a type-A male. So surprised you are a young woman!
I may be mistaken, but if the comments on The Bible are directed at me which I believe they may be since I am one of few young women to comment here, I am sorry but you misread my words.
I never said The Bible was true or false, I never said it was my view. I simply offered what The Bible says about sin, because that is the main arguement I hear against legalized gay marriage. If it came across as my opinion, it is failed writing by my part. My point was actually that even if I agreed with that religious view it has nothing to do with the governments legalizing marriages. Because it’s not fair as you stated to make everyone follow one belief system. So, sorry my writing is less than adequate to express my thoughts.
My strong opinion is THE STATE has no right to issue marriage licenses period! That makes marriage a privilege not a right, which stinks.
As for what I believe to be “The Truth” for me, it’s my business alone. That’s why I did not share my religious beliefs. I simply shared what The Bible says on a few subjects. Never did I say I believe the words, just know what they say.
So, if that comment is at me ask me my views on religion and do not assume I am Chritian because I’ve read The Bible. I have read many books that I can quote and or tell you what they say, doesn’t mean I believe any of them.
Gain perspective before offering it.
Sorry… My comment was intended for the blogger “Whatthebiblesays.” They may have ended up on the don’t spot. Oops. Sorry if that happened.
I am an idiot… I am so so sorry!
I just reread and our views are actually kinda close on most of this subject.
I am a jerk, my bad.. Please accept my humble apology.
Sorry again, I see you addressed them directly.
I’m young and obviously a poor reader.
You’re not an idiot at all… No worries Brooke’s Sister.
First, thanks for the good discussion. You refer to yourself as a “bigot” in your blog name, which I assume is meant as ironic since you strike me as anything but. Gay marriage is an issue on which well-intensioned people can certainly disagree. A conversation about it can be civil. I’m glad to find one here.
My central premise is NOT that “we should institutionalize gay marriage for the sake of the kids living within same-sex headed households.”
I’m saying that government has turned marriage into a system wherein committed couples get nearly 1,000 special financial, legal and health care benefits. It is straight-up discrimination to deny one class of adults access to this system and not another.
You keep wanting to make this about children. Doesn’t it bother you that the “it’s good for the children” argument is the same one once used to justify a prohibition against a black person marrying a white?
The fact is that almost none of the 1,000 benefits of marriage inscribed into US law have anything to do with children. Further, married couples get these benefits whether or not they have children. Or ever intend to have children. Or are physically able to have children.
“IF government is to be involved,” you write, “then it should be to promote/encourage that family structure.” Okay. But IF government were to do that it would drastically change marriage from what it currently is. Gay marriage would be among the least of the issues. As Christin pointed out extremely well, you’d be advocating all kinds of changes, like limiting marriage exclusively to couples who are able to procreate, having some test of parental competency and banning all divorce except in extreme cases where it benefit a couple’s kids.
“Is the government giving institutional status, affirmation, and financial benefit to those who seek divorce?” you ask as a counter. Answer: YES! Government is the one that grants the divorced. It gives a divorcee a different institutionally-recognized legal status and bestows a legal affirmation upon the divorcee that it is now acceptable to get married to some one else. And there are often financial benefits and responsibilities (child support, alimony, division of property, etc).
A prison inmate can get married. In Vegas you can meet some one drunk in a bar and be married in 15 minutes later. A convicted child molester can get married. But a loving, co-habitating, law-abiding gay couple who already parent kids having the reality of their union legally categorized as a marriage — THAT’S where you decide to draw the line!? Can you understand how such a position has at least the appearance of bigotry?
I’m really enjoying your respectful and thoughtful discussion. You both bring up valid points. Ask me, are you for gays having every other right of marriage so long as they do not raise children? If this is just about children, you must want them to be able to have all of the financial benefits you and your husband enjoy. Also, I don’t think allowing marriage incentives it. There will not be special benefits bestowed upon gay people… Just the same things everyone else already enjoys. And as many have pointed out and you know, LGBT joules defninetly don’t need to be married to raise children. A committed relationship recognized by law does not seem like it could harm the situation, but in reality it will improve the lives of many.
Hi Keefe. (And glad you joined this thread, Sarah. There is some overlap in your comments.)
“Gay marriage is an issue on which well-intentioned people can certainly disagree.”
Truly!!! And yet, you rarely (never?) see a non-hater face on the side of traditional marriage depicted in media. (Not because there are none, rather because media is actively trying to shape public opinion.) On my “Rules of Engagement” post one commenter quipped that if Merriam-Webster is changing the definition of marriage, they may change the definition of “bigot” as well. I wouldn’t doubt that it would read something to the effect of “One who opposes gay marriage.”
You write: “[Government] gives a divorcee a different institutionally-recognized legal status and bestows a legal affirmation upon the divorcee that it is now acceptable to get married to some one else. And there are often financial benefits and responsibilities (child support, alimony, division of property, etc).”
The “benefits” (child support, alimony, etc) are private ones between the two parties. Not incentives offered by the government. And by permitting divorce, I don’t see how that “institutionalizes” the divorcee. In fact, many states have waiting periods or counseling suggestions/requirements prior to obtaining a divorce. That sounds like government discouraging divorce to me.
I am not a legal expert, by any means. But it seems that you are appealing to the principle of “equal protection” under the law. Here is a very brief excerpt that captures a legal argument of this subject based on first principles:
I believe that if you are going to make the case that gay couples are being discriminated against, you would have to prove that they are “similarly situated” to heterosexual couples. In terms of commitment and affection, they very well may be similarly situated. In terms of child rearing and procreation, this is not the case. Childrearing, as the article above states more succinctly than I, is the sole interest of government. Which leads into your next comment:
“You keep wanting to make this about children. Doesn’t it bother you that the “it’s good for the children” argument is the same one once used to justify a prohibition against a black person marrying a white?”
The prohibition on interracial marriage gets right at the heart of the question. What is marriage? Which, honestly is where this discussion should have centered all along. Most will agree that historically marriage involves three elements which set it apart from other human relationships: (1) a comprehensive union; (2) a unique link to children; (3) norms of permanence and exclusivity. (https://askthebigot.com/2012/09/03/what-is-marriage/) If/when marriage is redefined to include same-sex couples, the definition drops to items 1 and 3.
This from my post “AsktheBreeder” https://askthebigot.com/2012/10/26/discrimination/
You speak of discrimination against gay couples and that they need marriage to secure rights. Here’s my deal with that. Prior to legalizing gay marriage in Washington State last November, under the state’s “Everything but marriage” domestic partnership law, same sex couples had identical rights and privileges under the law. I-den-ti-cal rights. But that was not enough. It seemed that what they wanted was to re-write the civil narrative about marriage and parenting and erase gender from the legal vernacular. And they got it. I’ve got nothing against civil partnerships. I have a beef with removing the idea that “mother” AND “father” are necessary and important to children. Adoption agencies have already closed their doors because it is now “discriminatory” in some states to place a child in a home headed by a mother and father before they place a child with a gay couple.
You talk about cohabitation, single parenting, divorce, etc. Indeed, there are huge issues facing marriage and family in this country. And you are right, that numerically those affect a much larger number of children than gay marriage. I have discussed all of those at points on this blog, namely here and here. And if there were efforts to institutionalize or to enshrine cohabitation into our legal code, you bet I would be emphasizing that too. (Studies are a little more forthright about the effects of cohabitation on children, however.) But there has been such a great effort on the part of gay marriage advocates to fluff up the “studies” that show that children fare equally as well within gay households, and to minimize the differences between fathers and mothers (indeed to say they are interchangeable), and nearly everywhere supporters of natural marriage are being equated to segregationists… then yeah, this is where I’m going to be vocal. (And, we must continue to love and engage those who chose to live differently from that in-tact home ideal.)
I don’t know how much more there is to say here. But I truly appreciate your willingness to engage. I will think more about the “government get out” argument. My “off camera” political theory advisor is a fan of that approach as well.
I welcome you to have the final word here and thank you again for the dialogue.
So, your argument, if I’m understanding you correctly, is that a lesbian already has an equal right to marriage because she is as free to marry a man as a heterosexual woman is.
If the situation were reversed, and a jurisdiction required everyone to marry a partner of the SAME gender, you wouldn’t find that unequal?
Your reasoning, again, is exactly what one could use to justify a ban against interracial marriage. Such a prohibition would preserve equality, your logic claims, because an Asian person is every bit as free to marry as a white person — they just have to choose a fellow Asian as a partner.
I submit that fundamental to the right to marriage (in this country) is the right to marry a consenting adult of your choice. A law that denies a class of people that choice on the grounds of gender is discrimination, and blatantly so.
One potential constitutionally permissible solution would be a law that reserves marriage exclusively for two people who are able to naturally procreate. (Note: I’d oppose that for a host of reasons). A better solution is civil unions — if they were made truly i-den-ti-cal. Heretofore they haven’t been (including what Washington state had) because civil unions haven’t been transferable to other states in the way heterosexual marriages are. And they aren’t recognized by the federal government (even after the DOMA ruling). Which brings me to getting government out and making marriage purely a religious sacrament as the best, though not perfect, solution. But that’s a different conversation.
I love, love, LOVE your idea of starting with the question: What is marriage? That is indeed the crux of it.
But answering that question as you started to, in a historical sense, doesn’t seem instructive to me. First, the history of marriage also includes many undesirable aspects (eg. polygamy). Second, something isn’t necessarily right just because it’s the historic norm — slavery, to wit.
But . . . What is marriage TODAY? What do we want the modern version of it to be? What marriage laws would best protect children and equally protect every citizen’s liberty? Those are truly excellent questions. Perhaps we’ll get into them on other posts.
Thanks again for your time and for providing this forum. I agree that this topic is subject to relentless negative stereotyping (on both sides) in the media. Happily, in the internet age, your blog — YOU – are part of “the media.” In this little corner of the world, at least, disagreement need not lead to disrespect.
Hi Keefe. I promised you the last word and will gladly allow it to be your comment above. You asked a question here: “If the situation were reversed, and a jurisdiction required everyone to marry a partner of the SAME gender, you wouldn’t find that unequal?” Would you like me to answer or did you intend for that to be rhetorical? Either way, I appreciate the dialogue and am happy that you chose to spend your time and energy commenting. 🙂
This is just act two. Things are at their darkest, the enemies are scoffing. I am very hopeful that things will turn around in act three. The ‘wrong side of history’ thing is just rhetoric, as far as I can see.
I don’t know, Justin. We shall see. In the meantime, the church has an opportunity to hold fast to biblical teachings on family and marriage while reaching out to a culture that is sinking into familial brokenness. May we do both with zeal.
I don’t see a mention of your name anywhere and I need it to use in my citation for college.
Hi Jeanine. I have friends who have advised me to keep a certain level of anonymity in the blogosphere. I have tried my best to keep their counsel. Hopefully a simple reference to the post will suffice.
By the way. Found this on glaad.org under FAQ for Doma: “A study published in 2010 in the journal Demography concludes that children being raised by gay and lesbian couples have almost exactly the same educational achievement as children raised by married heterosexual couples. Data released in 2010 from the US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Studyfound that “[c]ompared to the traditionally reared teens, adolescents with lesbian parents rated significantly higher in social, academic and total competence,” and that “teens with lesbian parents also rated significantly lower when it came to social problems, rule-breaking and aggressive behavior than teens raised in more traditional families.”
This isn’t just a recent development, either. A report published in the American Sociological Reviewback in 2001 examined 21 studies which “almost uniformly (found) no notable differences between children reared by heterosexual parents and those reared by lesbian and gay parents…” And in a study presented at the 1997 national meeting of the Society for Research on Child Development, research psychologist Charlotte Patterson said, “When you look at kids with standard psychological assessments, you can’t tell who has a lesbian parent and who has a heterosexual parent.”
Thanks for your comments here. There have been studies done related to parenting outcomes for children raised in same-sex headed households which have shown that those children fare as well as their counterparts form married heterosexual households. Those studies utilize what is known as “convenience samples” or “snowball samples” in terms of their participants. They utilize non-random, small sample sizes participants. Many include families who were recruited specifically for the study. I challenge you to find a study that uses large, random samples and adequate control measures that shows that children in same-sex headed households fare just as well.
Here is a closer look at the studies which have made that sweeping claim . http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X12000580 I encourage you to not just take GLAAD’s word, or my word, for it. Really look into it.
Also, for a more detailed explanation on my position on this subject and for a peek at the ONLY study which has compared parenting outcomes between same-sex headed households and married heterosexual households using large, random samples please see the post “You’re only against gay marriage because of your religion- Conclusion.” https://askthebigot.com/2012/08/13/conclusion/
Thanks for reading and commenting, Jeanine!
Askme, I understand what you’re saying about convenience sampling etc., but do you think you are intentionally disregarding the potential validity that some of these studies have? Just because they utilize certain sampling methods does not render them useless. As I mentioned before, you know it would be difficult if not impossible to get a truly random sample of gay parents. And some studies did utilize control groups. What exactly would you like to see in terms of design and methods for a study that would impress you? Any research can be slanted any way, and I think it would be fair and wise to acknowledge potential research bias on both sides and truths on both sides. Have you looked at the meta-analysis- Outcome for children with lesbian and gay parents: A review of studies from 1978 to 2000 (2002) with Anderssen as the lead author? Do you think society and people who are anti-gay in various ways contribute to these negative outcomes that you see in children with gay parents?
This is a pretty easy issue to clear up. The America Association of Pediatrics-a nonpartisan professional medical research facility for the Department of Affairs in Washington-stated that it is the “stability provided by marriage” as opposed to the gender of each party that “most affects the wellbeing of the child”. This statement was first researched by the AAP in 2002 and reaffirmed in another study in 2010.
Sam, thanks for your comment. I was spinning too many plates and failed to respond to Sarah’s last comment. I appreciate you bringing my attention back to this thread.
Stability is a crucial factor in child rearing, and it may be correct to say that it most affects the well-being of a child. Especially if that means comparing a child who has suffered through numerous heterosexual divorces, remarriages and infrequent/non-existent contact with one parent with a child who has been with two dads or two moms since birth. But just because stability matters doesn’t mean that parent gender does not matter. And shouldn’t we want kids to have it all? Stability and the benefit of both genders in their life? Why are we afraid to say what every kid who has ever lost a relationship with one or both parents knows- that there is pain when you don’t know your mom or dad. Period.
I want to take a moment and say that I know gay households, divorced/remarried households, single mothers, etc who are parenting well even when faced with some unique challenges. Whether they sought out their family arrangements or whether they are in that arrangement unwillingly, these alternative families are doing their best. And I am grateful for the chance to be in life with them.
The question is whether or not mothers and fathers (and a biological connection) matters to children. Examine the research that the AAP used to make that recommendation. You will find that some of the studies employed participants who were recruited. Many who volunteered. If I were to recruit participants for a study that showed children of gay couples were more likely to be abused what would you call that? You would be suspicious that I was finding participants who would support a pre-determined outcome, yes? You might call it propaganda.
Sarah, some of the studies that have been conducted using small convenience samples may have information that will help us to better understand this emerging social group of children raised by same-sex couples. But to make such a claim- that children do not need a mother and a father and that parent gender is relevant only in the conception of the child- will take many many years of studies that employ large random samples of ADULT children. The pro-gay marriage camp does not seem interested in such meticulous, long-term studies. My zeal for natural marriage and the benefits it brings to children is founded on reason, biology, personal experience, and the best social science. You and I can disagree on this and, as far as I’m concerned still be friends (as much as dog and cat people can be, I guess). But it is unfair to say, as many gay-marriage supporters do, that I oppose gay marriage because of “hate.”
If you are willing to think further outside of the box, have a look at the The New Family Structures Study (NFSS). (2012 Sam.) It is the only random-based representative picture to date of young adults whose parents had same-sex relationships. This is the second-largest such sample of children whose parents had same-sex relationships, after the Census. Here is a portion of the NFSS Abstract: The study compares “how the young-adult children of a parent who has had a same-sex romantic relationship fare on 40 different social, emotional, and relational outcome variables when compared with six other family-of-origin types. The results reveal numerous, consistent differences, especially between the children of women who have had a lesbian relationship and those with still-married (heterosexual) biological parents. The results are typically robust in multivariate contexts as well, suggesting far greater diversity in lesbian-parent household experiences than convenience-sample studies of lesbian families have revealed.” The full study is here and it’s fascinating. If you don’t read the whole thing, at least look at the tables of results in section 3.1.http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X12000610
Sarah, you ask about social stigma. Stigma is real, that is certain. Especially in areas that aren’t as blue as Seattle. 🙂 Stigma is of course the popular explanation for many of the challenges that gay and lesbians face in our society. What role does it play? Until we have further studies (preferably large and with random samples) which contrast families in areas where gay relationships are more “accepted” vs areas where it is more stigmatized then we can only guess at how great a factor social stigma plays in negative outcomes for children of gay couples.
…marriage laws stem from the fact that children are the natural product of sexual relationships between men and women, and that both fathers and mothers are viewed to be necessary and important for children. Thus, throughout history, diverse cultures and faiths have recognized marriage between one man and one woman as the best way to promote healthy families and societies.
I believe this to be the bottom line. The fact of the matter is no matter what gymnastics gay people go through, they cannot pro-create which I believe really settles the idea of being born gay.Unfortunately apart from a biblical worldview people can imagine nearly anything to be completely normal no matter how obvious the destructive consequences may appear. If people are this confused about their gendeer right now, what will they be like in 50 to 100 years should the biblical definition of marriage be obliterated?
Another excellent post. Thank you for being a voice crying in the proverbial wilderness.
Gymnastics? Donkeys cannot procreate… Does that mean they are unnatural? How does not being able to procreate mean somebody is not born that way? I suppose some men and women are also making a choice to be infertile? That is the most illogical argument with no backing in fact. Straight people give birth to gay people all of the time… It’s been happening since the beginning of time in many species. Just because gay people can’t naturally reproduce other gay people means NOTHING. I’m sure you’re happy about that… At least gays can’t make more “confused” gays. God willing, the flawed, contradictory-filled joke of a moral code, human-written Bible will be a thing of an ignorant past. God doesn’t need you to pass judgement on what is right, wrong, a choice, or something intrinsic. It’s not your place. Being gay is a lovely choice to be anyways, even if it is a choice. God forbid you have any children who are gay and you make them alienated with your preachy judgement. P.S. nobody is confused about gender except for little kids because people like you force gender norms on them to make yourself feel more comfortable. You are the one who seems to be confused.
Thanks, Knowthetruth. I really appreciate your comments and I agree. The life-giving properties of husband and wife is truly what sets that relationship apart from other human relationships. Gender and it’s complimentary nature is a real phenomenon. And God was wise to have give us one parent of each gender from birth, knowing that in many ways gender holds a key to navigating our social world. I am so appreciative of these two men who were each raised by two women and what they had to say on how the absence of a father impacted them:
“I had no male figure at all to follow, and my mother and her partner were both unlike traditional fathers or traditional mothers. As a result, I had very few recognizable social cues to offer potential male or female friends, since I was neither confident nor sensitive to others. Thus I befriended people rarely and alienated others easily. Gay people who grew up in straight parents’ households may have struggled with their sexual orientation; but when it came to the vast social universe of adaptations not dealing with sexuality—how to act, how to speak, how to behave—they had the advantage of learning at home. Many gays don’t realize what a blessing it was to be reared in a traditional home. My home life was not traditional nor conventional. I suffered because of it, in ways that are difficult for sociologists to index. Both nervous and yet blunt, I would later seem strange even in the eyes of gay and bisexual adults who had little patience for someone like me. I was just as odd to them as I was to straight people.” http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/08/6065/
“It is not therefore the taboo against homosexuality that made me suffer, but rather, gay parenting. Homosexuals should naturally be embraced with brotherhood. They enrich humanity and if it is necessary, of course, one ought to show them the same rights as heteros, as much as possible, but this equality cannot be applied rashly to the ‘right to a child’ which exists nowhere and can be drawn from no text at all. I suffered from the indifference of adults to the intimate sufferings of children, starting with mine. In a world where their rights are each day rolled back, in truth, it is always the rights of adults that hold sway. I also suffered from the lack of a father, a daily presence, a character and a properly masculine example, some counterweight to the relationship of my mother to her lover. I was aware of it at a very early age. I lived that absence of a father, experienced it, as an amputation.” http://englishmanif.blogspot.com/2013/01/le-figaro-runs-confessional-of-man.html
Thanks again for your comments, friend. Keep up the great blogging.
Dust blows heavily on this subject.
I was raised in a married family with divorce. Not a strong love of God in a strong household.
I myself have never married.
I gave birth to one son as an unmarried woman, who felt lost in a sexual world.
I claim a son of my ex who no longer is living, whom I was not allowed to marry even if I wanted too in this world we live in.
That son now lives with me as he changes his ways from drugs, thievery, etc.
My ways have changed from God not being in my life (or so I thought) to God being in my life (and always has been).
I choose to love the woman whom God gives to me to love and share my life with.
I remain single, loving God.
I have a birth right.
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